A 53-year-old woman who worked in a karaoke establishment and suffered from diabetes became the first person to succumb to Covid-19 in Laos, state-owned Vientiane Times newspaper reported Monday.
The Asian country has so far recorded 1,300 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, more than 80 percent of which were recorded last month.
Laos, a country of some 7 million inhabitants, was until now one of the few nations in the world that had not registered any deaths from the virus.
The health authorities announced the death on Sunday, when 69 new cases were registered amid a surge in infections since the traditional New Year holiday last month, according to the Vientiane Times.
The deputy director general of the country’s health department, Bouathep Phoumin, said older people were contracting the virus and were more vulnerable to the disease.
Last month, the authorities imposed restrictions on the internal movement of people to curb infections in the country, which is one of the least affected by the pandemic in the world and which has kept its borders closed for more than a year.
More than 184,000 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Laos, according to data from Our World in Data, as a part of its goal to inoculate at least 20 percent of its population this year, 50 percent in 2022, and 70 percent in 2023.
According to EFE‘s report, Laos has received a total of 1,234,000 vaccines, including 1.1 million from china Sinopharm and 132,000 from British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca through COVAX, the vaccine supply program of the World Health Organization.
In total, COVAX plans to deliver 480,000 doses to Laos, under its program of supplying vaccines to developing countries with limitations in accessing Covid-10 vaccines.